Women Hair Loss
When we meet people, one of the first things that people notice about us is our hair.While not many are aware Female Pattern Hair Loss is more common than expected. Hair loss seems like a problem that is more prominent in men but in fact, is a problem that women face in nearly as much prevalence.
For a lot of women hair loss starts occurring in their 50s and 60s, but many women still experience the problem at a younger age. Hair loss in women could be triggered by a range of factors.
The most common type of hair loss in women is female pattern hair loss. It is a condition triggered by androgens (the same hormones that lead to male hair loss). This loss of hair in women occurs naturally after puberty, with no significant changes in hair volume. However, after menopause, it gets more intense. With the increase in male hormones as women age and the subsequent drop in the number of female hormones (oestrogen and progesterone), loss of hair becomes more obvious. Just like in men, testosterone is converted to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) with the help of enzyme 5-alpha reductase. The DHT effect then leads to the thinning and fall out of hair.
Classifications of Female Pattern Hair Loss
Female pattern hair loss in women occurs in 3 main stages;
Hair loss is relatively unnoticeable at this stage as the hairline at the front remains relatively unaffected. If the hair is parted, the hair loss becomes more visible.
Here, women will notice the following: thinning, shedding, decrease in volume and a widening centre part.
By this point, hair has thinned out so much it’ difficult to cover the scalpand may be worsened by either hair shrinkage, progressive thinning and extensive loss.
Other Common Types of Hair Loss in Women
Other types of hair loss in women include:
- Shedding (Telogen Effluvium)
Shedding is a rather common occurrence particularly in women who have undergone physical traumas such as childbirth and surgery.
Pregnant women will often find that their hair is thicker during pregnancy due to the delayed ‘shedding’ process. Therefore, after the baby is born, new mums will see a higher than normal amount of hair loss. This tends to go back to normal 6-12 months post-childbirth.
Switching to a different brand of contraceptive could also throw off the internal balance in your body causing the shedding of hair. Some women can also experience loss of hair after undergoing emotional trauma or intensely stressful situations.
Fortunately for women who experience shedding the condition is temporary in most cases and shedding ceases after 6-12 months when the causing factors have been eliminated. This is when natural hair growth will start to take place. If this condition continues however after a year without any significant signs of hair growth, it could mean that the problem has become chronic and a consultation with a trichologist is necessary.
If you are worried about a sudden shedding of hair, contact us for a consultation with our consultant Trichologist.
- Breakage of Hair Near the Scalp
Sometimes women experience hair breakage, breaking away centimetre or more away from the scalp or at the centre of the strand. This is not however conventional loss. It is a sign of deteriorated Keratin in the hair and the breakage is a result of severe damage to the protein in the hair. In this instance, a few changes may be needed in terms of hair care products or heat exposure up until the hair regains its strength.
If you are suffering from hair breakage and want to find a solution, contact us for an appointment with our consultant Trichologist.
- Bald Patches
Bald patches typically occur when your immune system starts attacking the hair follicle. This type of hair loss is usually sudden and you may notice circular patches with no hair appear on your scalp. This could be as a result of conditions like alopecia areata, ringworms another condition. If suffering from bald patches you can consult Fortes Clinic for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Is Hair Loss Normal?
In our lifetime whether young or old, it is normal to lose a bit of hair. Hair typically falls out after completing a growth phase of 2 to 6 years. Most of us will notice a loss of hair strands when combing our hair. On average, we lose anywhere between 50 to 100 strands of hair every day. This is considered normal.
What is abnormal is when you experience:
- your hair falling out in clumps when combing or brushing it
- you notice that larger sections of your scalp are visible
- your hair is thinning
If you experience the above there may be cause for concern. Reach out to us today for the diagnosis and treatment of your hair loss backed by the latest medical treatments and technology available.